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carseat ratings? how do you choose? FINAL QUESTION: REGENT OR BLVD????

post #1 of 128
Thread Starter 
i have ds (29 mos) in an evenflo triumph. ds 2 is on the way in june. we have a britax blvd in our truck for emergency uses (no air bags, btw).
i hear raves on here about the britax which prompted me to get that for our truck and i went with the blvd b/c of the side impact wing things.
HOWEVER, it seems that when people on here talk about what britax they have or are going to buy, it's typically the marathon.
also, many talk about the high safety rating of britax.
so, my questions are:
where do you find safety ratings? i've searched and searched and without paying a membership to consumer reports, i can't find a way to see how the seats rate out. what am i doing wrong?

where is it posted that britax is "number 1"?

how do you decide on which britax you purchased, if you have a britax of course!

our plans at this point are to put ds2 in ds1's rear-facing triumph and buy another britax blvd for ds1. but i'm wondering why so many have the marathon. is there something i'm missing about the blvd b/c according to the britax website, it seems to be their crown jewel?

you know, i was really dumb with ds1. i hate to admit this, but my thoughts as i looked at the long row of seats at babies r us were: they all have to be certified to be on this shelf, so what's the big deal. i'm still having a hard time with this! for example, i saw a cosco scenera convertible for $40. our blvd cost 275 online. they both had to pass "tests" of some sort, right? i asked a tech (who monitors the free giveaway program at his department) - his response was the same. price is not indicative of quality and they give out some of the cheaper seats.

help me with my confusion! i need a new carseat before june!!!!
post #2 of 128
We use Consumer Reports, personally. Britax and Evenflo Triumph scored exactly the same and were both top-rated with CR when I was pg with ds, so we bought the Triumph and have been very happy with it.

We are getting a bigger seat for ds, one that goes to 65 lbs. with a 5pt. harness, and it's made by Safety First, we found it for $99 with free shipping online.
post #3 of 128
Consumer Reports is a lousy source for carseat info. Good for other stuff. BAD for carseats. This was demonstrated recently with their report they had to PULL because it was so terribly inaccurate.

There are no good ratings for carseats. They can just be compared on features and ease of installation.

Britax has more features- more going for it. It's a MUCH better seat than the Triumph. More padding. Higher rear facing weight limit. Higher straps. Higher forward facing weight limit. As the pp mentioned, she's having to buy a new seat.

The boulevard IS the top of the line. People usually choose the marathon because it's cheaper or easier to find or has more cool prints Also, the boulevard is not available in Canada but the marathon is.

hope that helps!

-Angela
post #4 of 128
Consumer Reports is a TERRIBLE place for carseat information, for a number of reasons. The fact that they rated the Triumph the same as the Britaxes is pretty much proof of that

Firstly, the Britax Boulevard really is the cream of the crop. It has the True Side Impact Protection (which I believe no other convertible seat on the market has). It also has the ease of use feature (the scrolly knob on the side) meaning your child's straps are always at the perfect height, and changing strap height is completely painless. You don't have to take the seat out of the car or even take the child out of the seat.

Britaxes are by far the easiest seat on the market to install. By far. (And I've installed quite a few brands )

The Britax will harness your child by far longer than any other seat. The Evenflo seats in particular are awful because the top harness straps are so low and the shell is too short. Way too much money to spend on a seat your child will outgrow before three years old!

The Marathon has the same height and weight as the BV, but it doesn't have the TSIP or the ease of use features that the BV has, which is why the BV costs more (and is a slightly better seat, although the Marathon has some way cool cover choices )

Anyhow, don't regret your purchase. It was a good one
post #5 of 128
Oh, I wanted to add, don't feel bad about the Cosco Scenera. It's actually an excellent seat for moms on a budget, for traveling, for a second seat for Grandma's car, etc. It rearfaces to 35 lbs, has relatively tall top harness straps for forward facing (much higher than the Evenflo!), is very light and portable, and easy to install in almost every car. Definitely a good purchase
post #6 of 128
safety reasons: yes, all car seats have to pass the same testing. As long as they are installed correctly, then they are all safe. However, britax is really easy to install, giving it a much better chance of being installed properly each time.

other then that, ease of use features and longevity are some of britax's 'trademarks'.

we have a blvd. i love it. i chose it for several reasons: the true side impact protection was the biggie, next was (is) the high weight limits, etc...
post #7 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThreeBeans View Post
Oh, I wanted to add, don't feel bad about the Cosco Scenera. It's actually an excellent seat for moms on a budget, for traveling, for a second seat for Grandma's car, etc. It rearfaces to 35 lbs, has relatively tall top harness straps for forward facing (much higher than the Evenflo!), is very light and portable, and easy to install in almost every car. Definitely a good purchase
: No complaints from dd either. It's nice and narrow and fits in our small civic very well. It's very true that price is not indicative of quality.
post #8 of 128
I have 9 carseats at my house right now, everything from a Scenera all the way to a Boulevard! While the Scenera is a great seat for the price and we love it for travel, my ods outgrew it right at 3. He also just hit 40# before 4 so a seat w/ the higher weight/strap slots is important IMO. I really don't like the Triumph, I find it hard to use and it has such a low back, rfing past 18mos, if that, is near impossible. There are some great seats out there in every budget and if you need a new seat, but can't afford Britax prices, let me know and I'll try to help!
post #9 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Naomismom View Post
: No complaints from dd either. It's nice and narrow and fits in our small civic very well.
FWIW the Boulevard fits fine in our civic

-Angela
post #10 of 128
Thread Starter 
thanks mamas! ok, so money is not really a huge issue. i'll buy the blvd again if that is the best. i think i was just wondering about cheaper seats...are they good/safe/easy. we actually need two carseats - one for our subaru forester and one for my mom's subaru baja. right now, each has the evenflo triumph which will go rear-facing for ds2. so now, it's deciding on seats for ds1, who still has not outgrown his triumph (and we actually think it's pretty easy to use, though grandma doesn't!)
blvd seems like an obvious choice, but when you see a scenera for $40 it's like "whoa...that's a HUGE difference!" and that's almost $260 that could be spent elsewhere.
i want to be safe, but i don't want to blindly spend $ where it's not necessary either, kwim?
any advice appreciated!
post #11 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackson'smama View Post
blvd seems like an obvious choice, but when you see a scenera for $40 it's like "whoa...that's a HUGE difference!" and that's almost $260 that could be spent elsewhere.
i want to be safe, but i don't want to blindly spend $ where it's not necessary either, kwim?
any advice appreciated!
Like I said, it's a great seat for the price. Obviously, it doesn't have a lot of features the Boulevard has. But don't feel bad about buying it! One of the pluses is the 35 lb rearfacing weight limit, so for a heavy baby it's a god-send
post #12 of 128
A Boulevard will last you much, MUCH longer than a scenera. Most kids will outgrow a scenera around 2.5 or 3. A boulevard could last them to 4.5 or 5 easily.

Also the boulevard has side impact protection which the scenera doesn't and can be tethered rear facing, which the scenera can't.

Add that to ease of use features (no rethreading straps for the boulevard...)

-Angela
post #13 of 128
Britax's do have cool features, but I think a lot of the raves you see about them are kind of the same reason Subaru station wagons are de rigeur among my social circle 'round here- someone told someone they were the best, so everyone went out and got one, not really thinking about whether they were really worth the additional cost, when (as you said) that money could be spent on a lot of other things. How about spending the extra money on delivery service for some of the errands you usually run with the kids in the car? That'll reduce their risk even more!

(This is not a diss of Britaxes or Subarus, just a suggestion to do a clear cost-benefit analysis.)
post #14 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by srain View Post
Britax's do have cool features, but I think a lot of the raves you see about them are kind of the same reason Subaru station wagons are de rigeur among my social circle 'round here- someone told someone they were the best, so everyone went out and got one, not really thinking about whether they were really worth the additional cost, when (as you said) that money could be spent on a lot of other things.
I disagree. Last I checked, there is no other covertible seat on the market with side impact protection other than the boulevard. There are only a couple that tether RF. There are only a handful that have upper weight limits of 65lbs and top slots to match.

All of those are important safety and cost factors. It came down to- there wasn't another similar seat that had anywhere near the saftety features that would last as long.

-Angela
post #15 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
I disagree. Last I checked, there is no other covertible seat on the market with side impact protection other than the boulevard. There are only a couple that tether RF. There are only a handful that have upper weight limits of 65lbs and top slots to match.

All of those are important safety and cost factors. It came down to- there wasn't another similar seat that had anywhere near the saftety features that would last as long.

-Angela
:

This is not a status thing at all. We are an extremely budgeted family. : No other seat on the market has TSIP, ease of use features, ease of install features and the higher height and weight limits that a Britax Boulevard. Not a one. I shut my cable off for three months to afford my first Britax. (I budgeted a little better for my next kid )
post #16 of 128
Thread Starter 
OK, i'm sold. angela, i think you are correct about the blvd being the only one with true SI protection. that's the reason we got it as our "emergency" seat for our truck. he's still currently in the middle of the back seat of the subaru in the triumph, but will move to the side obviously when ds2 rolls in. for that reason alone, the blvd wins out.
i just wanted to make sure i wasn't just "buying a name" or anything like that.
thanks again!
post #17 of 128
For years Britax was the only CRS that enabled parents and caregivers to restrain their children up to 80 pounds utilizing a 5 pt harness system. Hence, their popularity has swelled based in part to the fact that best or recommended safest practice, is to keep our kiddos in a 5 pt restraint for as long as possible. In the past year or so, other CRS manufacturer's have stepped up to the plate and given us more choices with which to achieve the "safest" practice recommendation. With the advent of more choices, the price we pay for a seat to keep our kids in a 5 pt restraint, has gone down. ALL car seats presently on the market meet the SAME crash criteria with one exception. That exception is for those CRS' that also meet TSIP (true side impact protection) crash standards. So technically with the exception stated above, a $ 300.00 seat properly used and installed, will achieve the same results as a $ 100.00 seat will. Some other features that affect price are padding, ease of use of mechanical pieces and installation, cover color choices and material, built in install mechanics and of coarse.....the effect of supply and demand.
Please know that a correctly installed and properly used CRS will decrease the liklihood of serious injury or death in a MVC. Price doesn't have much to do with that.

Dallaschildren
CPS Instructor
post #18 of 128
Another shameless plug for the Fisher Price Safe Voyage DX.

We had a used triumph from a friend first and when it expired I planned on getting another triumph as it was what i was used to and dd seemed comfortable in it. I asked on the baby bargains board and they all convinced me to get the FPSV DX instead because of the higher weight limits and harness slots. It's actually made by Britax but about $100 cheaper and sold under the FP name. It's even the same shell as the marathon I believe. It does not have a rf tether however, the fabrics aren't near as cute, less padding, mostly little things like that that are different. In an ideal world I'd get a Boulevard, but this seems like the best choice given my budget.
post #19 of 128
The biggest reason I chose Britax were the higher height and weight limits. It seems that now more companies are catching on to this and people will have more choices to keep their kids harnessed longer.

They are very comfortable, easy to use, and have some added features. I rearfaced until 2 and found the RF tether very valuable as an added safety features. We also have the Boulevard with SIP (however, the cars also have side curtain airbags, so that is probably not so neccessary for us. It is great for napping though).

Any seat that is installed properly and used correctly is safe. It's just that any of the other seats out there that harness to 40 lbs, my 2.5 year old is too tall for (and he's only 36", not a super tall kiddo, although longer in the torso). He's clearly WAY too young for a booster, he needs that harness. Any of them would have been a waste for me, as I would have been in the market for another carseat by now.
post #20 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa85 View Post
Another shameless plug for the Fisher Price Safe Voyage DX.
Someone mentioned that that seat had been discontinued. Anyone know for sure?

-Angela
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